In his new book the eminent Kant scholar Henry Allison provides an innovative and comprehensive interpretation of Kant's concept of freedom. The author analyzes the concept and discusses the role it plays in Kant's moral philosophy and psychology. He also considers in full detail the critical literature on the subject from Kant's own time to the present day. In the first part Professor Allison argues that at the center of the Critique of Pure Reason there is the foundation (...) for a coherent general theory of rational agency. The second part employs this account of rational agency as a key to understanding Kant's concept of moral agency and associated moral psychology. The third part focuses on Kant's attempt to ground both moral law and freedom in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason. This is a major contribution to the interpretation of Kant which will be of special interest to scholars and graduate students of Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
This book constitutes one of the most important contributions to recent Kant scholarship. In it, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Kant, Henry Allison, offers a comprehensive, systematic, and philosophically astute account of all aspects of Kant's views on aesthetics. The first part of the book analyses Kant's conception of reflective judgment and its connections with both empirical knowledge and judgments of taste. The second and third parts treat two questions that Allison insists must be kept distinct: the (...) normativity of pure judgments of taste, and the moral and systematic significance of taste. The fourth part considers two important topics often neglected in the study of Kant's aesthetics: his conceptions of fine art, and the sublime. (shrink)
Henry Allison is one of the foremost interpreters of the philosophy of Kant. This new volume collects all his recent essays on Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy. All the essays postdate Allison's two major books on Kant (Kant's Transcendental Idealism, 1983, and Kant's Theory of Freedom, 1990), and together they constitute an attempt to respond to critics and to clarify, develop and apply some of the central theses of those books. Two are published here for the first time. (...) Special features of the collection are: a detailed defence of the author's interpretation of transcendental idealism; a consideration of the Transcendental Deduction and some other recent interpretations thereof; further elaborations of the tensions between various aspects of Kant's conception of freedom and of the complex role of this conception within Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
Henry E. Allison presents a comprehensive commentary on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). It differs from most recent commentaries in paying special attention to the structure of the work, the historical context in which it was written, and the views to which Kant was responding. Allison argues that, despite its relative brevity, the Groundwork is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy and that its significance lies mainly in two closely related factors. The (...) first is that it is here that Kant first articulates his revolutionary principle of the autonomy of the will, that is, the paradoxical thesis that moral requirements (duties) are self-imposed and that it is only in virtue of this that they can be unconditionally binding. The second is that for Kant all other moral theories are united by the assumption that the ground of moral requirements must be located in some object of the will (the good) rather than the will itself, which Kant terms heteronomy. Accordingly, what from the standpoint of previous moral theories was seen as a fundamental conflict between various views of the good is reconceived by Kant as a family quarrel between various forms of heteronomy, none of which are capable of accounting for the unconditionally binding nature of morality. Allison goes on to argue that Kant expresses this incapacity by claiming that the various forms of heteronomy unavoidably reduce the categorical to a merely hypothetical imperative. (shrink)
Abstract Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) research and (future) applications raise important ethical issues that need to be addressed to promote societal acceptance and adequate policies. Here we report on a survey we conducted among 145 BCI researchers at the 4 th International BCI conference, which took place in May–June 2010 in Asilomar, California. We assessed respondents’ opinions about a number of topics. First, we investigated preferences for terminology and definitions relating to BCIs. Second, we assessed respondents’ expectations on the marketability of (...) different BCI applications (BCIs for healthy people, BCIs for assistive technology, BCIs-controlled neuroprostheses and BCIs as therapy tools). Third, we investigated opinions about ethical issues related to BCI research for the development of assistive technology: informed consent process with locked-in patients, risk-benefit analyses, team responsibility, consequences of BCI on patients’ and families’ lives, liability and personal identity and interaction with the media. Finally, we asked respondents which issues are urgent in BCI research. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-38 DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9132-6 Authors Femke Nijboer, Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands Jens Clausen, Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany Brendan Z. Allison, Laboratory of Brain-Computer Interfaces, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria Pim Haselager, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands Journal Neuroethics Online ISSN 1874-5504 Print ISSN 1874-5490. (shrink)
This literature review of professionalism was prepared by San Jose State University graduate student Marianne Allison as a research committee project of the Mass Communication and Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The project was prepared under the guidance of Professor Diana Stover Tillinghast. It reviews the literature on two approaches to professionalism in general and of the professionalism of journalists in particular: the ?structural?functionalist approach?; and the ?power approach.?; Traditional and recent discussions of the (...) nature of professionalism in occupational sociology are presented. Studies of the professionalism of journalists both in the United States and cross?culturally are critiqued. The paper suggests several areas of fruitful research, and contains an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
Allison, Lyn; Cannold, Leslie It is great to see such a good turnout for this important occasion and I congratulate the Humanist Society again on this award. It really makes a difference to people's lives: when they get the award, when they know about it, when there is publicity for the person concerned. It is an all-round good thing to do and I congratulate you for it.
This paper contains a critical analysis of the interpretation of Kant?s second edition version of the Transcendental Deduction offered by Be ´atrice Longuenesse in her recent book: Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Though agreeing with much of Longuenesse?s analysis of the logical function of judgment, I question the way in which she tends to assign them the objectifying role traditionally given to the categories. More particularly, by way of defending my own interpretation of the Deduction against some of her (...) criticisms, I argue that Longuenesse fails to show how either part of the two-part proof may be plausibly thought to have established the necessity of the categories (as opposed to the logical functions). Finally, I question certain aspects of her ?radical? interpretation of the famous footnote at B160-1, where Kant distinguishes between ?form of intuition? and ?formal intuition? (shrink)
Guyer argues for four major theses. First, in his early, pre-critical discussions of morality, Kant advocated a version of rational egoism, in which freedom, understood naturalistically as a freedom from domination by both one's own inclinations and from other people, rather than happiness, is the fundamental value. From this point of view, the function of the moral law is to prescribe rules best suited to the preservation and maximization of such freedom, just as on the traditional eudaemonistic account it is (...) to prescribe rules for the maximization of happiness. Second, in the Groundwork, Kant abandoned this naturalistic approach and while retaining the same substantive thesis as his early moral philosophy, "namely that freedom is the value that is realized by adherence to the moral law" (Guyer 455), attempted to provide a non-naturalistic (transcendental) grounding for this valuation of freedom. Third, this took the form of a transcendental deduction, closely modeled on that of the first Critique, which was intended to demonstrate that we are in fact (noumenally) free and the moral law is the "causal law" of this freedom. Fourth, this deduction is a disaster, indeed, one of Western philosophy's "most spectacular train wrecks" (Guyer 445). I shall discuss each in turn, devoting the bulk of my attention to the last. (shrink)
The first two sections of this paper are devoted respectively to the criticisms of my views raised by Stephen Engstrom and Andrews Reath at a symposium on Kant's Theory of Freedom held in Washington D.C. on 28 December 1992 under the auspices of the North American Kant Society. The third section contains my response to the remarks of Marcia Baron at a second symposium in Chicago on 24 April 1993 at the APA Western Division meetings. The fourth section deals with (...) some general criticisms of my treatment of Kant's theory of freedom and its connection with transcendental idealism that have been raised by Karl Ameriks, who was also a participant in the second symposium, in an earlier piece published in Inquiry and by Paul Guyer in a review. The paper as a whole is thus an attempt to reformulate and clarify some of the central claims of my book in light of the initial critical reaction. (shrink)
This essay examines the main line of argument of Yirmiyahu Yovel's The Adventures of Immanence. Expressing general agreement with Yovel's central thesis that Spinoza's ?immanent revolution? marked an important tuming?point in the history of modernity and profoundly influenced subsequent thought, I none the less take issue with some of the details of the story. In particular, I question his omission of Lessing, his account of the relationship between Spinoza and Kant, and his treatment of Marx. In a final section I (...) present some objections to Yovel's guiding conception of a philosophy of immanence. (shrink)
In their account of the origins of human collaborative abilities, Tomasello et al. rely heavily on reasoning and evidence from adult–child collaborations. Peer collaborations are not discussed, but early peer collaborations differ from early adult–child collaborations. Describing and explaining the similarities and differences in shared intentionality with peers and adults will bring us closer to understanding the developmental mechanisms.
Kant’s views on enlightenment are best known through his essay, “What is Enlightenment?” This is, however, merely the first of a series of reflections on the subject contained in the Kantian corpus. In what follows, I shall attempt to provide an overview of the Kantian conception of enlightenment. My major concern is to show that Kant had a complex and nuanced conception of enlightenment, one which is closely connected to some of his deepest philosophical commitments, and is as distinct from (...) the views of his contemporaries, including Mendelssohn’s, as his critical philosophy is from the rationalism of Leibniz, Wolff, and Baumgarten. (shrink)
Joint action, critical to human social interaction and communication, has garnered increasing scholarly attention in many areas of inquiry, yet its development remains little explored. This paper reviews research on the growth of joint action over the first 2 years of life to show how children become progressively more able to engage deliberately, autonomously, and flexibly in joint action with adults and peers. It is suggested that a key mechanism underlying the dramatic changes in joint action over the second year (...) of life is the ability to reflect consciously on oneself and one’s behavior and volition and correspondingly, on the behavior, goals, and intentions of others. (shrink)
Cooperative peer play emerges in the second year of life. How applicable is Preston & de Waal's (P&deW's) model to the empathic processes in cooperative play? Empathic responses during peer play are more general than they propose, and more dependent on mental state understanding. Moreover, peer play forces children to reason about others' feelings, possibly serving as a unique mechanism for empathy development.
This paper argues that Hume’s central concern in T 1.4.7 is to find a way to rely upon his cognitive faculties in spite of what he has learned about them in the preceding sections of part 4. The trouble is that having identified the understanding with “the general and more establish’d properties of the imagination” (T 220.127.116.11; SBN 267), Hume finds that these properties cannot function apart from other “seemingly trivial” ones, which calls into question the trustworthiness of his cognitive (...) faculties. I claim that Hume justifies this reliance by appealing to what Don Garrett has termed the “title principle,” which enables him to practice “true scepticism” by being diffident of his philosophical doubts as well as of his philosophical conviction” (T 18.104.22.168; SBN 273). (shrink)
Carpendale & Lewis (C&L) stress the importance of social interaction for social understanding, but focus on the adult-child relationship. In the present commentary, we discuss the development of social understanding within early peer relationships. We argue that peer interaction stretches the limits of early social understanding, thereby providing both unique challenges and unique opportunities for constructing an understanding of others' minds.
Training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) is required for many research trainees nationwide, but little is known about its effectiveness. For a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of a short-term course in RCR, medical students participating in an NIH-funded summer research program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) were surveyed using an instrument developed through focus group discussions. In the summer of 2003, surveys were administered before and after a short-term RCR course, as well as to (...) alumni of the courses given in the summers of 2002 and 2001. Survey responses were analyzed in the areas of knowledge, ethical decision-making skills, attitudes about responsible conduct of research, and frequency of discussions about RCR outside of class. The only statistically significant improvement associated with the course was an increase in knowledge, while there was a non-significant tendency toward improvements in ethical decision-making skills and attitudes about the importance of RCR training. The nominal impact of a short-term training course should not be surprising, but it does raise the possibility that other options for delivering information only, such as an Internet-based tutorial, might be considered as comparable alternatives when longer courses are not possible. (shrink)
This paper defends the thesis of the analyticity of the principle of apperception, as developed in the first part of the B-Deduction, against recent criticisms by Paul Guyer and Patricia Kitchen The first part presents these criticisms, the most important of which being that the analyticity thesis is incompatible with both the avowed goal of which being that the Deduction of establishing the vahdity of the categories and Üie account of apperception in the A-Deduction. The second part argues that Kant's (...) procedure in the B-Deduction of beginning with an abstract analysis of a discursive understanding, independentiy of its relation to the specifically human forms of sensibility, requires him to regard the principle as analytic and that this explains the difference from the A-Deduction. By appealing to the model of a deduction in Kant's moral theory and the two step in one proof structure of the B-Deduction, the third part argues that the analyticity thesis is in fact compatible with the goal of the Deduction. (shrink)
O autor reexamina a crítica de Derrida à fenomenologia de Husserl de forma a mostrar como a sua coerência estrutural emerge não tanto de uma redução a uma doutrina particular, mas antes das exigências de uma concepção unitária, especificamente impostas pelas determinações epistemológicas e metafísicas da presença. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Desconstrução. Derrida. Fenomenologia. Husserl. Presença. Significado. ABSTRACT – The author reexamines Derrida’s critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, so as to show how its structural coherency arises not so much from the reduction to (...) a particular doctrine, but rather from the demands of a unitary conception, specifically from the demands imposed by the epistemological and metaphysical determinations of presence. KEY WORDS – Deconstruction. Derrida. Husserl. Meaning. Phenomenology. Presence. (shrink)
A new collection of inspiring personal philosophies from another noteworthy group of people This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventyfive essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. With contributors who run the gamut from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to ordinary folks like a diner waitress, an Iraq War veteran, a farmer, a new husband, and many others, This I Believe II , like the first New York Times bestselling collection, showcases moving and (...) irresistible essays. Included are Sister Helen Prejean writing about learning what she truly believes through watching her own actions, singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore writing about a hard-won wisdom based on being generous to others, and Robert Fulghum writing about dancing all the dances for as long as he can. Readers will also find wonderful and surprising essays about forgiveness, personal integrity, and honoring life and change. Here is a welcome, stirring, and provocative communion with the minds and hearts of a diverse, new group of people—whose beliefs and the remarkably varied ways in which they choose to express them reveal the American spirit at its best. (shrink)
"Nearly all the essays are theoretically informed, argumentative, and exceptionally interesting; nearly all try to paint the merits (and demerits) of utilitarianism as a political philosophy in the light of attempted solutions to theoretical problems that are explored in some detail. The result is a searching, thoughtful volume." --Ethics "The Utilitarian Response is unique in the breadth of problems and questions in utilitarian theory covered. It is more suggestive of strategies by which contemporary utilitarianism could be improved than a comprehensive (...) reply to recent objections to utilitarianism. It should be of great interest to scholars in ethical theory and political philosophy. It would also serve well as a text for a graduate level seminar, if accompanied with readings in the area of recent objections to utilitarianism." --Utilitas Utilitarianism is an important component of both popular and academic responses to the problems of ethics and public policy. Over the past two decades, it has lost some ground to rival theories, such as: contractarian, libertarian and natural rights. This book explores the capacity of utilitarianism and the existing challenge of reviving it in political theory. Primary attention is given to questions on the intellectual coherence and moral acceptability of utilitarian responses to practical dilemmas, including health care, punishment, and electoral arrangements. Also examined are the relationships between private ethics and public policy, utility and freedom, utility and democracy, and the role and limitations of states, both locally and internationally. The Utilitarian Response is a broad and contemporary account of utilitarian theory as it exists today. It explores the continuing applicability of utilitarian thought to current practical and interrelated issues of ethics, economics, and politics. An ideal resource for scholars in political philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
Kant's use of the leading thread of his table of logical forms of judgment to analyze judgments of taste yields more results than Allison's account allows. It reveals in judgments of taste the combination of two judgments: a descriptive judgment about the object, and a normative judgment about the judging subjects. Core arguments of Kant's critique of taste receive new light from this analysis.
In response to Henry Allison?s and Sally Sedwick?s comments on my recent book, Kant and the Capacity to Judge, I explain Kant?s description of the understanding as being essentially a ?capacity to judge?, and his view of the relationship between the categories and the logical functions of judgment. I defend my interpretation of Kant?s argument in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories in the B edition. I conclude that, in my interpretation, Kant?s notions of the ?a priori? and the (...) ?given? are more complex and flexible than is generally perceived. Nevertheless, Kant maintains a strict distinction between receptivity and spontaneity, the ?passive? and the ?active aspects of our representational capacities. This separates him from his German idealist successors, most notably Fichte and Hegel. Contrary to Sedgwick?s and Allison?s suggestions, I do not think that my interpretation tends to blur this distinction. (shrink)
In this paper I take issue with Allison's ‘two aspect’ view of Kant's transcendental distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves. Unlike those of Allison's critics, who criticize him, and by implication Kant, based on some form of the ‘two world’ view, I argue that, even Allison's methodological, more moderate interpretation, nevertheless includes an excessive commitment to the role of things-in-themselves in Kant's theoretical philosophy, a commitment which is both unnecessary and incompatible with Kant's text. I offer an alternative (...) interpretation which, in my view, is at once more accurate, and more defensible against the familiar claim that Kant's philosophy is either incompatible with itself or it inevitably leads to idealism. (shrink)
In his very rich and insightful book, Kant's Theory of Freedom, Henry Allison argues that in the first Critique Kant's reason for rejecting Humean compatibilism in favor of an incompatibilist conception of practical freedom stems, not from a specific concern to ground morality, as many have supposed, but from his general conception of rational agency, which Allison explicates in terms of the idea of practical spontaneity. Practically spontaneous rational agency is subject to imperatives and therefore distinct from Humean (...) agency. But it is not necessarily subject to the categorical imperative and hence is distinct from fully spontaneous (transcendentally free) moral agency. A conception thus emerges of an agent with limited spontaneity, subject to hypothetical but not categorical imperatives. A doubt may be raised, however, as to whether Kant's view can accommodate this conception of limited practical spontaneity. Reflection on Kant's notion of a hypothetical imperative suggests that the idea of limited spontaneity is in danger of either collapsing into the Humean picture or else turning out to be equivalent to the conception of full spontaneity appropriate to moral agency. There is thus reason to suppose that, for Kant, we would not be bound by imperatives at all if we were not bound by the categorical imperative. (shrink)
Henry Allison [1983; cf. 1990, 1996] criticizes and rejects naturalism because the idea of freedom is constitutive of rational spontaneity, which alone enables and entitles us to judge or to act rationally, and only transcendental idealism can justify our acting under the idea of freedom. Allison’s critique of naturalism is unclear because his reasons for claiming that free rational spontaneity requires transcendental idealism are inadequate and because his characterization of Kant’s idealism is ambiguous. Recognizing this reinforces the importance (...) of the question of whether only transcendental idealism “can ground the right to the conceptual space” that we occupy when thinking spontaneously or acting under the idea of freedom. Only with a clear answer to this question can Kant’s idea of freedom provide a basis for assessing today’s naturalist orthodoxy. (shrink)
This article notes six advances in recent analytic Kant research: (1) Strawson's interpretation, which, together with work by Bennett, Sellars, and others, brought renewed attention to Kant through its account of space, time, objects, and the Transcendental Deduction and its sharp criticisms of Kant on causality and idealism; (2) the subsequent investigations of Kantian topics ranging from cognitive science and philosophy of science to mathematics; (3) the detailed work, by a number of scholars, on the Transcendental Deduction; (4) the clearer (...) understanding of transcendental idealism sparked by reactions to Allison's epistemic account; (5) the resulting need—prompted also by new studies of the thing in itself—to face up to the old question of the philosophical defensibility of such idealism; and (6) the active engagement with Kant's ethics and political philosophy that derives from Rawls's and others' work. (shrink)